Last Minute Great Lakes Opportunity: Catch Polsteam’s m.v. Isa From Amsterdam To Cleveland Or Burns Harbor, Fares From $1,772 pp

IsaThe 35,600-ton Polsteam bulk carrier m.v. Isa is now on her way across the Atlantic from Montreal to Hamburg. After discharge, she will set course for IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, where she is due to arrive during the week of October 28. Her next cargo will be Tata Steel for the Great Lakes ports of Cleveland and Burns Harbor and she has a few cabins available for passengers. Sailing date is expected to be late October.

PZM Polish Steamship Company’s Isa first opened this St Lawrence Seaway passenger service in March 2000. The Seaway season lasts from late March to late December each year. Thirteen ships take part in the Great Lakes service, with one or two sailings a month at the moment. The five “I” class ships feature an Owners Cabin, a double cabin and two single cabins, all outside, with a capacity for up to six passengers each.

Fares, including port charges, are $1,772 per person to Cleveland or $2,012 to Burns Harbor. while the Owners cabin is $1,967 to Cleveland and $2,267 to Burns Harbor, in double occupancy. Sole occupancy rates are higher. A full US visa (not an ESTA) is required to undertake this voyage.

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at passenger agents The Cruise People Ltd in London om +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

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How To Get Away From South Korea By Cargo Ship: For Passengers Wanting To Sail From The Republic of Korea To The USA And Europe

APL New York

The APL New York sails from Qingdao to Los Angeles in 18 days

Since 2014, it has no longer been possible for passengers to depart South Korea by cargo ship as the government has banned all cargo passenger embarkations. Disembarkation is still allowed, however.

For those in Korea wanting to travel by cargo ship, this now means having to travel from a port outside Korea. Japan might come first to mind but most passenger-carrying ships at Japanese ports call inbound first but not outbound, making the longer voyage durations impractical. And travelling via Taiwan can sometimes mean visa complications with China.

With passengers being allowed on the APL New York, however, on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge service, the Port of Qingdao now offers an opportunity for travellers from South Korea, who can catch Weidong Ferry’s overnight boat from Incheon, near Seoul, to Qingdao. Ferry bookings can be made directly with Weidong.

I ncheon-Qingdao ferry

The overnight ferry crossing from Incheon to Qingdao takes seventeen hours

A good summary of this service is provided by The Man in Seat 61:

“Trains link Seoul & Incheon frequently, 39 km, journey time 58 minutes. The ship sails from Incheon’s 2nd International Ferry Terminal at 17:00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays arriving Qingdao at 09:00 next day. The one-way fare for a bed in a 4-berth business class cabin is about 88,000 won or 750 RMB.”

Weidong Ferry

Passengers can travel overnight on the Weidong Ferry from Incheon to join their cargo ship in Qingdao

Qingdao to Los Angeles then takes 18 days and the fare is €1,915 per person in one of the two Owners Cabins or €2,095 for sole use of same. But one must plan in advance as there is only one sailing every six weeks. Service is also available to Oakland, which is four days more and an extra €400 per person double or €440 more single.

CMA-CGM-Andromeda

The 10-berth CMA CGM Andromeda is one of eight ships running from Qingdao to ports in the Mediterranean

More frequent connections are available to Europe on CMA CGM’s Mediterranean Club Express, Qingdao to Malta in 30 days (from €3,115 per person double, €3,415 single), Qingdao to Barcelona in 36 days (from €3,715 per person double, €4,075 single) and Qongdao to Genoa in 40 days (from €4,115 per person double, €4,515 single).

APL is part of CMA CGM Group. For details of booking cargo ship voyages on APL and CMA CGM please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Last-Minute Single Cabin To Australia, November 21, Cancellation Rotterdam To Melbourne, Fare £5,295 for 50 days.

Widukind

The m.v. Widukind departs Rotterdam November 21 for a 50-day voyage to Melbourne

Due to a cancellation, we have a single cabin available on the m.v. Widukid bound from Europe to Melbourne. The planned itinerary is Rotterdam – Dunkirk – Le Havre – New York – Savannah – Kingston (Jamaica) – Cartagena (Colombia) – Punta Manzanillo (Panama) – Panama Canal – Papeete (Tahiti) – Noumea (New Caledonia) – Brisbane – Sydney – Melbourne.

pad-service

Rotterdam to Melbourne is 50 days and the fare is €5,674 (£5,295) for a single cabin including full board, port charges, deviation insurance and booking fee. The fare to Sydney is €300 (£280 less).

Non-US and Canadian citizens will need full US visas for any US calls as cargo ships are not included in the various visa waiver programs (also known as ESTA).

To book this cabin please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

CMA CGM La Traviata: Le Havre, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Charleston, Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam And Bremerhaven

Cma-Cgm-La-Traviata-c.CorneliaReports have come back to us from two of our clients who travelled on board the CMA CGM La Traviata recently that may be of interest to intending Transatlantic passengers.

The first is from Heinz K, a German passenger, who told us he wanted “to let you know a little bit about my experience with my travel with CGM CMA from Savannah to Bremerhaven in Germany in June/July 2017.

“I wanted to thank you for all of your effort to go with me through all the booking and set up my freighter voyage. It was a great success. I enjoyed it tremendously and I think I couldn’t have chosen a better company to go with and a better agent to lead me through everything to be able to do this journey on the La Traviata cargo freighter!

“It couldn’t have gone smoother, the ship was great, the crew and all the officers have been just wonderful. The journey crossing the ocean was a fantastic adventure for me, but it couldn’t have been a better crew on board, a better chef like the two French guys cooking for us and a better captain with all his officers. Everybody did the best and made my journey a big success.

For sure I want to get in touch with you again in two years to find me a route and a boat again crossing the ocean and this time going from the US to an Italian port on the Riviera side in the Mediterranean Sea. It was really the best boat and experience I could get on freighter travel!”

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty's tablemates at lunch

Betty and luncheon companions enjoy the fare on board CMA CGM La Traviata

The second report (with photos) comes from Betty Steinhauer, a Canadian passenger who has just arrived in New York from Southampton this week. Betty reports:

“The ship was built in 2006, sails under French flag, and is named La Traviata. It is 334 meters in length, beam is 43 meters, gross tonnage is 91,410 tons , holds 8,440 containers, if it is dangerous cargo, they are told what is inside.

“My cabin is large. It has three windows, piles of cupboards, and a large desk. My room is on a corner with a balcony. ‎I have a steward by the name of Tony. He is of course from the Philippines and his contract is for eight months. This is how he supports his family by sending salary and tips back home. The French crew consists of thirty members led by the Captain as we call him. His crew call him Master.”

CMA CGM La Traviata - half of Betty's stateroom

“My room is really excellent. It’s a large corner room with three windows. two to view Ocean and one to see containers. There are two beds, a sofa, coffee table, chair, large desk, full bathroom, and wrap around balcony!” [The balcony is public but is directly outside the cabin.]

More photos and blog postings can be found on Betty Steinhauer’s own blog here.

The CMA CGM La Traviata accommodates up to ten passengers in three double-bedded cabins at 215 sq ft and two twin-bedded cabins of 258 sq ft (see photos above and below). The vessel sails every five weeks on CMA CGM’s Liberty Bridge service between New York, Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah on the US side and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Le Havre in Europe.

CMA CGM La Traviata - Betty at work in her cabin

Betty Steinhauer hard at work on board CMA CGM La Traviata.

Fare for the full 35-day round voyage is €3,965 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €4,315 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €4,315 per person or €4,665 for sole use. Fares include port charges, evacuation insurance and a booking fee.

The Transatlantic voyage from Le Havre to New York takes 9 nights and a double-bedded cabin runs to €1,285 per person or €1,465 single, while a twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,375 per person or €1,645 for sole use.

In the other direction, Charleston to Southampton takes 13 nights and the fare is €1,545 per person for a double-bedded cabin and €1,675 single. A twin-bedded cabin runs to €1,675 per person or €1,805 single.

For further details of booking with CMA CGM please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or email PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

The APL Name Returns To The Cargo-Passenger Trades – Four Ships To Start With, More Likely To Follow

APL Gwangyang © Claus Schaefe

The APL Gwangyang will now carry passengers on the Mediterranean Club Express service between Asia and the Med

The Cruise People booked their first APL passenger this morning, from Singapore to Fos sur Mer on the APL Gwangyang, and are working on their second, a 119-day round voyage booking on the APL Danube, serving the Columbus Jax route between Los Angeles and the US East Coast, both ways via the Suez Canal.

Ports of call on the Columbus Jax route include Los Angeles – Oakland – Hong Kong – Yantian – Vung Tau – Singapore – Port Kelang – Colombo – (Suez Canal) – Halifax – New York – Norfolk – Savannah – (Suez Canal) – Port Kelang – Singapore – Jakarta – Laem Chebang – Vung Tau – Los Angeles – Oakland.

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The President Monroe ran in the round-the-world service

When it was known as American President Lines, APL ran both Transpacific and Round-the-World cargo-passenger services as well as Transpacific passenger liners. History since then has seen a couple of changes in ownership.

Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) was formed in December 1968 by the Singapore Government. In 1997, NOL acquired and merged with APL, with NOL becoming the holding company and APL the group’s world-wide container brand. In 2009, APL moved its headquarters from Oakland to Singapore, where it is based now. The APL container fleet now numbers 84 ships and APL’s Global Gateway South terminal in Los Angeles, also used by CMA CGM, moves 1.65 million TEU’s a year.

APL Phoenix © Jan Svendsen

The 4-passenger APL Phoenix and sister ship APL Columbus offer two Owners cabins each on the Columbus Jax loop (below)

In 2016, CMA CGM bought out Neptune Orient Lines and its APL operation, and they are now busy adding APL ships to their rosters. So far we  have APL Columbus and APL Phoenix, with two Owners cabins each accommodating up to four passengers, and APL Danube (ex-CMA CGM Danube), with five double cabins accommodating up to ten passengers. All three operate on the the Columbus Jax service.

https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-services/line-services/serviceflyermap?serviceCode=CJXA fourth ship to accommodate passengers is the APL Gwangyang, which is moving to the Mediterranean Club Express between Asia and Europe. No doubt more will follow.

APL is part of CMA CGM Group. For details of booking a cargo ship voyage on an APL or CMA CGM ship or any other line please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Two Asia – South America Cargo-Passenger Routes Reinstated After Recent Ship Changes At CMA CGM

CMA CGM Carl Antoine in Santos courtesy Santos Shiplovers

The newly-delivered 6-passenger CMA CGM Carl Antoine trades between Asia and East Coast South America

With all the ship and route changes occurring at CMA CGM this year two South America-Asia routes that had not recently been available have now been revived.

One route (ACSA2) connects Chinese ports, Hong Kong and Taiwan with Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile while the other route (SEAS) connects Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese ports with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

The ACSA2 service is now being offered by two ships, the CMA CGM Hydra and CMA CGM Thalassa, while the recently-delivered (2017) CMA CGM Carl Antoine has been placed onto the SEAS service. Each ship can carry up to six passengers in three double cabins.

Each route offers a full round voyage of 84 days, but by crossing the Andes between Argentina and Chile, one can also construct a full round-the-world itinerary via Asia and South America. The actual port rotations follow:

Map of the Asia Central South America 2

ACSA2: Hong Kong – Kaohsiung – Pusan – Manzanillo – Lazaro Cardenas – Balboa – Buenaventura – Callao – San Antonio – Coronel – Lirquen – Puerto Angamos – Callao – Lazaro Cardenas – Manzanillo – Pusan – Shanghai – Xiamen – Shekou – Hong Kong.

Map of the Asia South America East Coast 1

SEAS: Hong Kong – Singapore – Itaguai – Santos – Paranagua – Navegantes – Montevideo – Buenos Aires – Rio Grande – Navegantes – Paranagua – Santos – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Ningbo – Yantian – Hong Kong.

Typical transit times on ACSA2 are Hong Kong – Manzanillo in 21 days, Hong Kong – Callao 35 days, Callao – Shanghai 26 days, and Manzanillo – Shanghai 18 days, and on SEAS Singapore – Itaguai in 23 days and Santos – Singapore in 25 days.

For details of booking a voyage with CMA CGM or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.

Rome (Civitavecchia) To Baltimore, Transatlantic In Grimaldi Lines’ Twelve-Passenger Grande Congo

Grande Congo photograph copyright Frank Behrends

The Grande Congo and her sister ships can carry up to 12 passengers each

As well as Fiats, Italian-built Jeep Renegades and containers, each ship in Grimaldi Lines’ Civitavecchia-to-Baltimore service is fitted to carry up to twelve passengers. Rachel Slade crossed the Atlantic with her two stepsons on the Grande Congo in July. Here is what she wrote to us on her return to the US:

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you and Miri for a memorable journey and tremendous service.

We took a Grimaldi ro/con ship from Civitavecchia to Baltimore in July 2017. I cannot overstate how polite the master (Captain Francesco Rago) and crew were, and how welcome we felt during our 12-day cruise across the Atlantic. The food was delicious, and the espresso on the bridge every evening was unforgettable. The master taught my stepsons how to use a sextant and identify steering stars, and we learned a lot about Italian food and politics. We look forward to traveling with Grimaldi again someday.

But getting underway was a journey unto itself, and the whole ordeal gave me a chance to see how hard The Cruise People work to make sure their customers have a positive experience in the very unpredictable world of commercial shipping.

I first booked a ship through The Cruise People from Lisbon to Jacksonville for June. Within weeks, that entire shipping route was cancelled, forcing Miri to scramble to find me room for three passengers on another ship crossing the Atlantic during the high season. She finally found a Grimaldi ship, scheduled to leave Italy on June 21. We booked our flights from Boston, and waited in anticipation.

One day before we left the States, Kevin contacted us to let us know the ship would be delayed a couple of days, with a June 24 departure. Not a problem–we booked an AirBnB in Civitavecchia.

Then things got worse. When we got to Rome, I contacted the port agent who informed us that the ship had been rerouted to Turkey and wouldn’t leave Italy until July 1.

Kevin spent considerable time working with the shipping company to get the details, and helped us get a deduction on the cost of our passage, which was truly appreciated, considering the fact that we had to spend 10 extra days in Italy. It was a heroic effort, and made me feel that even in this era, some companies truly care about their clients’ experience.

When we finally got on the ship and headed out to sea, we were thrilled and relieved. Suffice it to say that we had terrific weather–sunny, warm–including a few days when the temperamental Atlantic Ocean was as flat as a sheet of glass. We truly appreciated the chance to unplug from the world for a week!

Thank you again for everything.

Grimaldi Lines Owners cabin bed room 1

The bedroom in a Grimaldi Lines Owners Cabin

For others who may be interested there is a sailing from Civitavecchia about every 11 days. The present ships on the route feature an Owners cabin and five Inside cabins and one-way fares from Italy to the USA are as follows:

Owners Category EM2: €1,700 (about US $1,905) per person for two
Outside Category DE2: €1,300 (about US $1,455) per person for two
Inside Categories DI2/BI2: €950 (about US $1,065) per person for two

Owners Category EM1: €2,300 (about US $2,575) for sole occupancy
Outside Category DE1: €1,700 (about US $1,905) for sole occupancy
Inside Categories DI1/BI1: €1,200 (about US $1,345) for sole occupancy

The duration of each voyage is about 11 days to Baltimore or 14 days to Jacksonville. The latest schedules call for departures from Civitavecchia on August 16 & 30, Sept 13 & 27, Oct 12 & 23, Nov 8 & 23, Dec 11 & 25.

For further details on booking a voyage with Grimaldi Lines or any other cargo-passenger service please contact Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail PassageEnquiry@aol.com.